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More than 50 lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties Monday marked the 66th anniversary of Japan’s surrender by visiting Tokyo’s contentious Yasukuni Shrine, which honors the nation’s war dead as well as Class-A war criminals.

Considering in particular the sensitivities of other parts of Asia, Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his Cabinet skipped the visit. It is the second year in a row a Democratic Party of Japan-led Cabinet opted on Aug. 15 to avoid drawing further fury, particularly from China and South Korea. Kan said last year he will not visit the shrine as long as he is in office.

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